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So you decided to drop out of school.

Maybe it didn’t feel right or you couldn’t see the point.

Maybe you felt bummed about the job prospects after school.

Or maybe other things were getting in your way like bullies or trouble at home.

Whatever the reason – it felt like the best move to say ‘cya’ to school.

So how are you feeling now?

If you’ve wound up here reading this article, we’re going to guess you’re feeling a bit lost and wondering what to do after you’ve dropped out of school. First things first, here’s the facts…

If you’re under 16

If you’ve dropped out of school and you’re under 16 (or haven’t finished year 10) you have to be at school. If that’s you and you can’t bear going back, check out our support page for places you can find a listening ear. Talking to someone might just help you get to the bottom of your feelings about school and help you return.

If you’re over 16 and don’t want to go back to school

You still need to be in some form of education, training, employment, or other eligible option until you have met the requirements of the compulsory participation phase.

Not sure what you’ll do? We’ve got some options to explore. Remember, if you’re not in an ‘eligible option’ you need to be back at school.

If you’re over 16 and are thinking of going back to school

Maybe you’re finding that dropping out isn’t what you thought it would be, or what you’d hoped.

If you’re feeling embarrassed or nervous about going back, just remember, life’s a journey and there’s many different routes (some with lots of twists and turns). But with drive and determination, you can get to where you want to go. Take a look at the 2023 School Leavers Guide for advice on next steps, or our article about heading back to school after you’ve dropped out.


options on what to do after dropping out of school

Still not sure what you want to do?

If you’re feeling pretty lost and don’t know where to go next, heading to our support page is a great place to start. There you’ll find resources and links to people who are happy to lend a listening ear.

Good luck with whatever comes next!

For more information about your options...